Preservation group Landmarks Illinois identified its ten most endangered historic places in the state Tuesday, a list which includes the embattled Uptown Theatre, a Jens Jensen landscape, and Chicago’s Central Manufacturing District on the Southwest Side.
“The sites named to the list are all exceptionally important to not only local residents, but the local economy,” said Bonnie McDonald, Landmarks Illinois’ president (Read AN’s Q&A with McDonald here). “By calling attention to the potential for their reuse and revitalization, we are encouraging job creation and economic development across Illinois—something everyone can support.”
The group has been issuing the list since 1995. Of the buildings called out for preservation each year, a third of the properties have been saved, less than a quarter have been demolished, and the rest remain up in the air.
Half of this year’s list falls in the Chicago area, including Jens Jensens’ Camp Algonquin in suburban McHenry County. The 116-acre camp along the Fox River was established in 1907 but closed in 2011 amid financial difficulties. Its 47 buildings are in various states of disrepair and many are slated for demolition. In March, State Senator Pam Althoff introduced two bills to fund their rehabilitation.
Downstate properties include Hotel Belleville, a 1931 Art Deco building on Belleville, Illinois’ town square. The city, about 16 miles southeast of St. Louis, recently issued a Request for Proposals for the redevelopment of the building.
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